Neoga Township High School “Indians”

Neoga Township High School

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1909 – 1978

The History of Neoga Township High School


Neoga (population 1,854) is located in northwestern Cumberland County off of Interstate 57 approximately 18 miles north of Effingham.  U.S. Route 45 runs through the middle of town. Two major railroad systems, the Illinois Central Gulf and the Norfolk & Western, have tracks that intersect on the south side of town.  A branch of the Henry Creek flows through the northwest side of town.


Neoga genuinely has a rich and storied tradition of providing quality education for its children.  The school building pictured above served the town proudly from 1909 through 1978.  It is probable the school system was established many years before the brick building was erected. In 1953 the first changes to the Neoga school system took place with an addition added to the building above. This was done to make room for children of several smaller country schools in the area that were closed.  The nearby villages of Trowbridge, Etna, and Pioneer did maintain a country grade school however.  This was the order for several years until 1978.  It was this year that the surrounding grade schools were closed and a time for a change occurred at the high school.  The need for a newer, larger building for the students of the Neoga school system was pursued.  It was decided to demolish the grand old lady and replace her, causing sadness in the hearts of many of the alumni of Neoga Township High School. The name of the high school was changed slightly, from Neoga Township High School to Neoga Community High School.  Though the school fight song, nickname, and District number remained the same.  The school colors changed slightly from scarlet and gray to red and white. 


It is realized by this writer that technically Neoga High School never “deactivated”. However the passion shown in a submission by former student Robert L. Young (class of 1943) caused me to rethink my position of this site. To watch your school building be torn down and replaced is, to some, an anguishing experience.  I apologize to anyone from Neoga who may be insulted by the inclusion of Neoga Township High School, it is not intended to be included in a negative way.  Rather this page is included to salute those like Mr. Young, whose fond memories of their high school they wish to share and have live on forever. You can view a web site created by Mr. Young regarding his class of 1943 and Neoga Township High School by visiting:


We received some sad news in November of 2006 about the passing of our long time fan and staunch supporter of the Glory Days site, Dr. Robert Young.  Dr. Young was one of our early fans who saw the real value and potential of the Glory Days site and the purpose behind it. Dr. Young loved his childhood life in rural Cumberland County and he especially loved his Neoga Township High School.  Check out the Neoga and Etna pages of this site, they were made possible with the excellent assistance and great passion of Dr. Robert Young. Dr. Young had his own websites recognizing his schools which can be visited at the following addresses:

Our heart goes out to Dr. Young’s family and friends. Cumberland County has lost a great man.  A great tribute to Dr. Young and his lifetime filled with incredible accomplishments can be viewed at:


Neoga Township High School Quick Facts


Year opened:                                 late 1800s

Year brick school building opened:  1909

Year Township HS closed:              1978

School nickname:                          the “Indians”

School colors:                               Before 1938 – Purple & Gold

                                                    After 1938   – Scarlet & Gray

School Fight Song:                        Before 1938 – “Cheer Neoga” sung to “Cheer Illini”

                                                    After 1938   – “Neoga High Fight Song” sung to

                                                    Washington and Lee University March (by Mac Swengel) 

NTHS Band Award – 1946

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Earned by Rita Worland [Benefiel]

NTHS Letter Award for Newpaper – 1946

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Earned by Rita Worland [Benefiel]

Neoga High School Varsity Letter

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!945-46 School Year – Basketball

Neoga HS Basketball Team 1941-42

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National Trail Conference Champions 20 – 7



The IHSA web site does not recognize the difference between Neoga Township HS and Neoga Community HS.  However, following the information supplied by Mr. Young, we will recognize the athletic efforts gained in the old Neoga Township HS building before 1978.


Neoga Township High offered basketball, track, and possibly baseball.  They competed for many years in the National Trail Conference. 


Boys Basketball


Basketball was the feature sport at the school with some of the better players including Max and Bob Young, Dodo Bigler, Pat Wallace, Bernie Hayton, Vernon Greeson, and Dean Walk. Two of the better coaches of the time were Bud Colin and Bob Mirus (Coach Mirus is in the photo to your right). Two of the NTHS teams won District titles.  The records and coaches names are not available at this time.


1934-35             District Champions

1941-42  20 – 7  National Trail Conference Champions      Coach Bob Mirus 

1948-49             District Champions


*The Team of 1941-42 –  The 1942 Neoga Township HS basketball team went 20 – 7.  They won the National Trails Conference Championship and beat perennial power Teutopolis twice that year. Dr. Robert Young is to the left of the conference trophy holding a ball with “41-42” on it.  The coach, Bob Mirus, joined the Navy during the 42-43 year.  Dr. Young was a Junior on this team and a captain. Phil Worland is in the front row wearing #56. Phil oassed away in February of 2005.


Thank you to Tom Benefiel for supplying the photo and information on the team of 1941-42.


Boys Track & Field


Three male athletes brought home medals from the IHSA State Track Meet.  In 1893 in fact, Charles Comstock single handedly led the Neoga track team to a 9th place finish in the state meet. The other two athletes bringing home medals were Fred and Scott Swengel. The accomplishments of these athletes are listed below.


1892-93   Charles Comstock     50 Yard Dash       2nd Place

               Charles Comstock   100 Yard Dash       3rd Place


               Team Finished 9th Overall! 

               1893 Final Team Standinds


               1.)   Peoria HS                     –   42

               2.)   Chicago Lakeview          –   31

               3.)   Geneseo                       –   13

                      Springfield                    –    13

               5.)   Urbana                         –    11

               6.)   Chicago Hyde Park       –     7

               7.)   Farmer City                  –     5

               8.)   Champaign                   –     4

               9.)   NEOGA Township HS  –     3

                      Watseka                      –     3


1911-12   Team Won Conference Championship

1912-13   Team Won Conference Championship

1974-75   Fred Swengel           High Jump           5th Place

1975-76   Scott Swengel          High Jump            8th Place

1976-77   Scott Swengel          High Jump            6th Place

1977-78   Scott Swengel          High Jump            2nd Place


IF You Have Further Information to share regarding Neoga Township High School please complete a Guest Commentary Form.  You may also write us at or via real mail at:


Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631          

Official Class Ring – Neoga Township High School

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“The Warrior” 1929 – 1947

Neoga HS Band – 1938

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Band Leader Mac Swengel

Neoga Township High School

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Track Team of 1914 – Team Captain Max Young

Even further information on Neoga Township High School can be obtained on a second web site developed.  Just type in the following:  

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